Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review: Andy Sparrow's Bloodrunners

BloodrunnersBloodrunners by Andy Sparrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The readers of Bike magazine never took to Bloodrunners as the replacement for Paul Sample's legendary Ogri comic strip. Ogri had been a grimy mechanic riding bikes he'd built himself, and that reflected the self-image of the magazine's readers. Bloodrunners, by contrast, featured fantasy superbikes with impossibly fat tyres and fantasy pneumatic 80s women with impossibly big hair. Ogri was Motörhead*; Bloodrunners was Bon Jovi.

Bloodrunners moved with the times but came up against a readership that was happy where it was. And, it has to be said, Ogri was better than Bloodrunners. Sparrow tried too hard to make the character of Jack Shit iconic (you can't force these things: either it happens or it doesn't), but Bloodrunners did have its charms. At his best, Jack Shit strode across the page like Darth Vader before the fall, taking some of Ogri's hard edge and humour, while the stories exuded a Kings Road hauteur of bikers who never questioned their own superiority. It had glamour, and it was beautifully drawn in a style that complemented the storylines perfectly. And, if it couldn't beat Ogri, it was a damned sight better than Tina Tailpipe.

*Actually Ogri was more Pink Fairies (Keep it Together!: Cosmic Boogie with The Deviants and The Pink Fairies), but maybe that's too obscure a reference.
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